FAQ

Charleston Plumber | Rooterman Plumbing | Serving Charleston, North Charleston, West Ashley, Summerville, Daniel Island, Goose Creek, Hanahan, James Island, Johns Island, Mt. Pleasant

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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TOILETS

What can and cannot be flushed down the toilet?

The only thing that should ever be flushed down the toilet (besides human bodily waste) is toilet paper. Nothing else should be flushed, including tissues, paper towels, unused drugs, feminine hygiene products, sand, grass clippings, goldfish, cat litter (even if marked “flushable), so-called “flushable wipes” (see below) and everything else. Anything that you flush besides bodily waste and toilet paper may result in a clog in your drain or sewer line.

 

Why aren’t so-called “flushable wipes” flushable?

The often erroneously labeled “flushable wipes,” such as those used to clean up after changing a baby’s diaper, should NOT be flushed down the toilet because they don’t dissolve like toilet paper. As a result, they can clog your drain or sewer lines. Dispose of these wipes in the trash can.

 

Should I keep plunging my clogged toilet or drain until it’s cleared?

No. Repeated plunging can damage your toilet seals and drain connections. A plumbing rod, mechanical snake, non-toxic chemical solution and/or hydro-jetter should be used by a trained plumbing professional to safely and efficiently remove any clog without damaging your seals, connections or pipes.

 

Should I get a standard or comfort height toilet?

A comfort height toilet is about 17 inches from the floor to the top of the toilet seat, whereas a standard height toilet is about 15 inches. The additional two inches in a comfort height toilet make sitting down and standing up easier for people who are elderly or handicapped. Some comfort height toilets also have flushing mechanisms that require less exertion to use.

 

WATER HEATERS

To what temperature should my water heater be set?

Most manufacturers and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommend a water heater setting of 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent scalding and save energy. If you want even hotter water for washing clothes and dishes, a setting of up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit can be used, but an anti-scalding device for showers and tubs should be considered if you have children or elderly residents in your home.

 

Should I drain my water heater yearly?

Sediments and minerals can build up in the bottom of your water heater and cause problems if not flushed occasionally. This should be done at least once a year if you have an older model heater or use well water, but can be done at least once every two years if you’re connected to a public water system and have a newer model.

 

When should I consider replacing my water heater?

You should consider replacing a water heater if it is more than 10 years old, is discharging rusty water, is making banging or rumbling sounds, or has developed a fracture to the tank that results in leakage. If your water heater problem is due to a burned-out heating element or faulty thermostat, those parts can usually be replaced to temporarily extend the life of your water heater.

 

What is the difference between traditional and tankless water heaters?

Traditional water heaters have a storage tank in which the water is heated and reheated until used. They are generally less expensive to purchase, but also less energy-efficient. A tankless water heater has no storage tank because fresh water is instantaneously heated on demand. The initial cost of a tankless water heater may be more than for a conventional heater, but that cost is usually recovered in a significant savings in electric or natural gas costs.

 

WATER BILLS

Why is my water bill so high this month?

A significant increase in a monthly water bill may simply be due to increased usage. House guests during the holiday season, frequent irrigation system use during dry months or filling a swimming pool can cause unusually high water bills. However, you may have a leak in your water line or a faulty toilet that is constantly draining and refilling. A complete plumbing system inspection can identify the cause of your high water bill and offer affordable solutions.

 

FAUCET REPLACEMENT

Should I get a single- or double-handle faucet?

There are pros and cons with either choice. With a single-handle faucet, only one hole must be cut in the countertop and they can be more affordable. New users of single-handle faucets can have problems getting the right flow rate and/or temperature mix. If a leak occurs, both the hot and cold water valves must be shut off. A double-handle faucet makes the hot and cold water flow easier to regulate and only one valve must be shut down if there’s a leak. However, double-handle faucets requires that two holes be cut in the countertop and can be a little more expensive.

 

PLUMBING SYSTEMS

How often should I have my plumbing system inspected?

A complete plumbing system inspection can reveal minor problems before they become major ones. For most homes, an inspection every two years is probably sufficient, but systems in homes built prior to 1970 or surrounded by mature trees should be inspected annually.

 

Why do tree roots get in my sewer pipes?

Tree roots are initially attracted to water vapor escaping from cracks or loose joints in a sewer pipe. Eventually, roots can grow into those spaces, begin to feed off of the effluent, and cause sewer pipe clogs or ruptures as they expand.

 

What can be done if I think tree roots are causing a sewer line backup?

A visual inspection of the line using a sewer-camera can confirm if tree roots are the problem. A mechanical snake can then be inserted into the line to chop and grind the root to clear the blockage. To prevent future tree root problems, Rooter-Man Plumbers might recommend a RootX treatment to inhibit new growth. Get more information at www.RootX.com.

 

What is BIO-CLEAN?

BIO-CLEAN is a safe and non-toxic enzyme solution that can help break down organic matter and dissolve most clogs in drain and sewer lines without causing any damage to the pipes. Go to www.bio-clean.com for more information.

 

What is hydro-jetting?

Hydro-jetting is a method that can be used to clear clogged drains and sewer lines with a high-pressure burst of water. For indoor lines, a portable hydro-jet unit can be used inside your home or business to flush the line. Outdoor sewer lines may require the use of an even more powerful wheeled unit.

 

Why does water back up in my kitchen sink when I use the dishwasher?

Dishwashers and kitchen sinks are usually connected to the same drainage line, which might be clogged. If you have a garbage disposal underneath that sink, the problem could be due to a clogged disposal. In any event, a problem like this should be identified and cleared before the clog results in an overflow that can cause expensive water damage.

 

What are those stubby little pipes sticking out of my roof?

Many people don’t realize that those pipes are actually an important part of their plumbing system. They’re called vent pipes and they are attached to all of the drain lines in your home or business to vent noxious gases that would otherwise build up and to balance the water pressure so that gravity can help the lines to drain smoothly. Clogged or damaged vent pipes should be cleared or repaired by an experienced plumber or service technician.

 

What is a backflow preventer?

A backflow preventer keeps contaminated water from entering the city water supply due to changes in pressure. It should be inspected and tested every year by a qualified service technician from a licensed company.

 

What is terracotta pipe?

Terracotta or fired clay pipes were once used extensively in sewer lines, but are now considered obsolete and should be replaced PVC plastic piping.

 

What is orangeburg pipe?

Orangeburg pipe, still found in many older homes, is made of pressed layers of wood pulp and pitch. It is subject to deformation and failure due to pressure. Orangeburg pipe is not longer permitted under most modern building codes.

 

What is a polybutylene pipe?

Polybutylene is a type of plastic resin used extensively in water-supply pipes manufactured from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s. They are normally white or gray in color. Oxidants like chlorine in the public water supply can cause scaling, flaking and micro-fractures that can eventually cause pipe failure. Improper installation of some systems has also caused problems.

 

FAQS ABOUT ROOTER-MAN PLUMBERS

What is the difference between flat-rate pricing and hourly service fees?

Some service providers charge by the hour for their work, meaning that you won’t know the amount of your bill until the work is completed. At Rooter-Man Plumbers, we have a flat-rate pricing policy: an experienced service technician evaluates your problem and gives you a flat-rate price for the needed service, which includes all parts and labor costs. If you accept the given price, that will be the amount of your final bill, regardless of how long it takes to fix the problem.

 

Does Rooter-Man Plumbers offer a warranty for services provided?

Yes. At Rooter-Man Plumbers, all of our work comes with a written warranty, usually for 30 days from the date that the service is provided. If the same problem occurs again during the warranty period, we come back during normal business hours to correct the problem. Not all plumbing service providers offer such a warranty, but we stand behind the quality of our work at Rooter-man Plumbers.

 

Is Rooter-Man Plumbers a national company and how does that affect the cost of services?

Every Rooter-Man Plumbers company is a locally owned and operated franchise of the nationwide Rooter-Man Plumbers network. However, there are no franchise fees that are passed along to the customer. We set our flat-rate pricing fees based on local market conditions and our experience with local customers. Our goal is to provide top-quality service at prices that are competitive and affordable.

 

What is the Rooter-Man Plumbers policy on repair versus replacement when I have a plumbing problem?

At Rooter-Man Plumbers, our policy is to solve your plumbing problem in the most efficient and affordable way possible. If an issue with your toilet, water heater, garbage disposal or other plumbing appliance can be solved with a simple repair or part replacement, that’s what we’ll do. We will only recommend replacing a faulty unit when we make a professional determination that a “quick fix” will only be temporary and lead to the problem occurring again. And if you want to get a second opinion before making a decision, that’s fine with us.

 

Does Rooter-Man Plumbers do commercial as well as residential work?

Yes. Our local clients include businesses large and small, as well as property managers and landlords for everything from apartment complexes to single-family homes. We also offer annual inspection services to our commercial clients designed to identify small problems before they become large ones.

 

How do I know that a Rooter-Man Plumbing service provider is competent and trustworthy?

First, nearly all of us who work at Rooter-Man Plumbers have families just like you, so we know that trust is an important factor when a service provider is invited into your home. That’s why we background-check and drug-screen all of our prospective employees as part of our hiring process. We also have company policies regarding respectful conduct towards our clients and their property. Second, we hire knowledgable and experienced service providers, then keep them up-to-date on new products and techniques with an on-going training program. At Rooter-Man Plumbers, we believe that trustworthy and skilled service providers are what you have a right to expect.